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The Seven Greatest One-Trick Ponies in MMA


(“It’s called an ‘illusion’, okay? A ‘trick’ is something a whore does for money.”)

Leading up to her Strikeforce title fight against Miesha Tate on Saturday, Ronda Rousey bristled at the suggestion that she was a “one-trick pony” simply because she had finished all four of her professional MMA fights — and her two amateur fights before that — by armbar. Then, Rousey finished Tate by armbar anyway.

But being a one-trick pony shouldn’t be a derogatory term in MMA. If you’re so good at your specialized technique that you can finish top-flight opponents with it, even though they know it’s coming, then you should be applauded, not criticized. So let’s pay tribute to the seven greatest one-trickers in mixed martial arts. If we’ve left out any good ones, please let us know in the comments section.

RONDA ROUSEY
Trick: The armbar
Finishing percentage via that trick: 100% (5 armbar wins in 5 pro fights)
Does she have a nickname based on that trick?: No
How long can Ronda’s perfect armbar streak last? Unlike some of the other names on this list, “Rowdy” has proven that she can land her technique-of-choice against the elite of her division. Rousey faces former Strikeforce 135-pound champion Sarah Kaufman next, and it might be a good sign that Kaufman’s sole career loss — against Marloes Coenen in 2010 — came via armbar.

GIVA SANTANA

Trick: The armbar
Finishing percentage via that trick: 72.2% (13 armbar wins in 18 pro fights)
Does he have a nickname based on that trick?: Yes, “The Arm Collector”
Carrying an overall record of 17-1, Givanildo Santana has torqued elbow-joints all over the world. Santana picked up his 13th armbar win during his Bellator debut in October, and is a dark horse to sweep the promotion’s upcoming middleweight tournament.

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